A Never-Failing Cake

We have a recipe in our family, passed down from my Mom (heaven knows where she found it), that has been a life-saver to all of us. It’s a plain old, hot-milk sponge cake, that’s super easy, and without fail makes the lightest, spongiest, tastiest vanilla cake you could dream of.

I have made this recipe time and time again, and I have forgotten how many hundreds of cupcakes I’ve churned out over the years using this never-failing winner.

For the icing part, the recipe calls for butter icing, which is rich and delicious, but my family LOVES plain caramel, out of tin, spread thickly between the layers and on top – super easy and decadent.

The recipe makes a 2 layer sponge cake, and approximately 3 dozen cupcakes. If you are going to make cupcakes, fill the paper holders 2/3’s full – you don’t want the baked filling under the rim, and you also don’t want a peak forming that will ultimately have to be cut off.



4 extra large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup milk

125g butter

2 cups flour

Pinch of salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 tins caramel


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Prepare the tins. Line with wax paper and grease, or spray thoroughly with Spray and Cook.


Combine the eggs and sugar in your high speed mixer for 5-10 minutes, until pale in colour and light and fluffy. This is an important first step that will give you a super soft and fluffy end result. 2016-01-23_0002

Boil together milk and butter, until the butter has melted.

2016-01-23_0004 Sift flour and salt together and slowly add to the fluffy egg mixture until well combined.

2016-01-23_0005 Slowly add the hot milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix well.

2016-01-23_0006 Lastly add the vanilla essence and baking powder to the above mixture and mix well.

Evenly pour the mixture into the prepared tins and bake for 25 minutes. If you’re baking cupcakes, they should be done within 12 minutes.

2016-01-23_0007 Cool the cakes in their tins for a few minutes, and then carefully turn out to cool on a wire rack.

2016-01-23_0009 Spread the caramel between the 2 layers and over the top. One tin is sufficient, but if you want a really decadent and rich filling, use 2 tins.

2016-01-23_0010 2016-01-24_0002

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